About this Research Topic
Euarchontoglires are one of the four main clades of living placental mammals; the remaining are Afrotheria, Xenarthra and Laurasiatheria. It includes Euarchonta (primates, tree-shrews and flying lemurs) and Glires (rodents and lagomorphs). The Glires in turn includes two extant mammalian clades, Lagomorpha and Rodentia. Euarchontoglires represent roughly half of extant mammalian species, and most of them are Rodentia (~2500 species), while the much less numerous Primates (~300 species) come second.
At the same time, the exceptional diversity of both fossil and living taxa of Euarchontoglires makes their origins and evolution hard to study. One of the contributing factors is a very high level of convergence and parallelism in dental, osteological and myological features, particularly characteristic of Glires. Moreover, we often lack precise morphological information even on the living representatives; indeed, beyond the normal anatomy of the guinea pig, rabbit, mouse and rat, anatomy of Glires is rather poorly known. Overall, this inadequate coverage is particularly evident in the case of Dermoptera, Lagomorpha, and Scandentia. For example, the baculum, although frequent in rodents and primates, was considered absent in Lagomorpha, though recently it has been identified in pika (Ochotona).
Thus, our purpose is to bring together the latest research on Euarchontoglires to better understand their anatomy, evolution, ecology and genetics. We would like to address these fundamental issues in an interdisciplinary manner, to encourage a serious discussion concerning existing controversies and to foster novel approaches toward the understanding of this arguably most important group of placental mammals.
We welcome Original Research on the following topics of interest (the list is not exhaustive):
• New interpretations of the fossil record of Euarchontoglires
• Functional morphology of cranial (e.g., middle ear or oral apparatus) and postcranial (e.g., ankle joint or tail) structures
• Convergent evolution in the group (at all levels)
• Molecular phylogenetics, especially in poorly researched groups
• Growth and development
• Morphological correlates of ecological specializations
• New analytical methods and research tools
Keywords: Euarchonta, Glires, adaptations, evolution, paleobiology
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